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Connection Newsletter: July 16, 2020

Deadline approaching: Executive Order 2020-48 Enhanced Surveillance Advisory, Slowing the Spread of COVID-19

In response to Governor Ducey’s Executive Order (EO) 2020-48, Enhanced Surveillance Advisory, Slowing the Spread of COVID-19 last week, the Arizona Department of Health Services has shared key provisions within the EO. Hospitals must ensure EMResource is updated daily by 1200 MST. This is a critical surveillance tool for the current response and accurate numbers are crucial for federal assistance and statewide situational awareness. Read


IRS extends deadline for hospitals to complete community health needs assessments

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced Tuesday it is expanding the July 15 extension of time for tax-exempt hospitals to meet their community health needs assessment obligations. “The due date for any CHNA due to be conducted and for any implementation strategy due to be adopted on or after April 1, 2020, and before December 31, 2020, is postponed to December 31, 2020,” the agency said. The IRS also provided guidance on how hospitals should document their reliance on the postponement. Read

ADHS announces COVID-19 testing strike force details


The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) and Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (DEMA) Tuesday announced details additional diagnostic testing for COVID-19 with a focus on Maryvale and South Phoenix. The testing will begin on Friday, July 17, and continue for 12 days. Read more here.


AzHHA Submits Comments to ADHS Proposed Rule

AzHHA submitted a comment letter on July 13 to the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) regarding its recently issued Notice of Proposed Rulemaking intended to significantly increase radiation control fees. In its comments, AzHHA recognized the fees support an indispensable public safety function but explained that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals are in need of financial assistance and are unable to absorb any additional losses at this time. AzHHA requested ADHS defer the imposition of the proposed radiation control fee increases affecting hospitals and other health care providers. 

AzHHA Submits Comments on FY 2021 IPPS/LTCH Proposed Rule

AzHHA submitted a comment letter last week to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regarding its FY 2021 Proposed Rule on Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems (IPPS) and the Long-Term Care Hospital Prospective Payment System (LTCH). In addition to payment updates and other policy changes, CMS proposed to require hospitals to include market-based payment rate information on the annual Medicare cost report and to incorporate this information into the IPPS Medicare Severity-Diagnosis Related Group (MS-DRG) relative weights beginning in FY 2024. Read

Arizona becomes endorsed by National POLST

Arizona has become the newest state POLST Program to become endorsed by National POLST. National POLST endorses programs when they have proven they have developed and implemented a program and form that meet the national standards. The Arizona POLST program uses effective educational resources and interactive workshops for care teams and clergy. The program's Introduction to POLST workshops, with free CME/CE’s for physicians, nurses, social workers and long-term care administrators, are offered monthly in a webinar format. To learn more about Arizona POLST visit our website and click here to register for an upcoming workshop.

AzHHA welcomes new member Community Bridges, Inc.

AzHHA is pleased to announce its newest Healthcare Member Community Bridges, Inc. (CBI), an integrated behavioral health agency. CBI uses an integrated approach to addiction treatment and behavioral health concerns. Using a combination of education, therapy, housing, medications, peer support, inspiration, hope and other supportive services. To learn more about our newest member, visit their website at We look forward to working with CBI’s President and CEO, John Hogeboom and his team.

In Other News

A silent fight, a crushing foe: What it’s like inside an Arizona COVID-19 ICU as surge of patients pushes hospitals' limits (subscription required)
Arizona Republic

Arizona bringing 600 nurses from out of state to help hospitals with surge

Travel nurse describes comparison between New York and Arizona hospitals
AZ Family